Like a Berber: Madonna celebrates 60th birthday in Marrakech

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Madonna is celebrating her 60th birthday in Marrakech in Morocco. (Instagram: Madonna)
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Madonna is celebrating her 60th birthday in Marrakech in Morocco. (Instagram: Madonna)
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Madonna is celebrating her 60th birthday in Marrakech in Morocco. (Instagram: Madonna)
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Madonna is celebrating her 60th birthday in Marrakech in Morocco. (Instagram: Madonna)
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Madonna is celebrating her 60th birthday in Marrakech in Morocco. (Instagram: Madonna)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Like a Berber: Madonna celebrates 60th birthday in Marrakech

  • The Queen of Pop donned the attire of a “Berber Queen” in Marrakech on her birthday
  • On Sunday, the American star posted pictures and videos on her Instagram of a fun photo shoot with British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj

JEDDAH: Madonna’s 60th birthday celebrations are creating quite a buzz, especially delighting her Arab fans that she chose to mark the milestone in Morocco.
The Queen of Pop donned the attire of a “Berber Queen” in Marrakech on her birthday, wearing a fuchsia chiffon long-sleeved gown by Gucci with Berber jewelry and a headpiece by Marianna Harutunian.
On Sunday, the American star posted pictures and videos on her Instagram of a fun photo shoot with British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, known as the “Andy Warhol of Marrakech.” Madonna, who posed for pictures with her family, is seen dressed in a traditional red attire, accessorized with colorful jewelry and a Louis Vuitton headscarf.
“Life can be sweet and sour and sometimes a surprise can happen that you never would think of and this was one of (those) moments; want to thank Madonna and her lovely family and being patient for the shoot at my riad,” Hajjaj wrote on Instagram.
Hashtagged #birthday #magic #Marakesh, Madonna’s pictures have gone viral on social media since she first posted a portrait of herself bedecked in Berber jewelry and brandishing a sign that reads “The Queen.” She wrote: “Finally and at last it’s my birthday! I have survived! Life is beautiful!”
On the eve of the big day, she toured the former imperial city of Morocco under the close watch of the paparazzi and wrote: “Walking through the Labyrinth of the Medina during the Call to Prayer.” She posted a video shot at night, wandering in the alleys of the city’s ancient market.
“Mystical walk through the desert,” she captioned a photo featuring her in the desert, with six horsemen holding candles in the background.
Another portrait shows Madonna wearing a fez decorated with Berber jewelry, along with a caption reading: “Today I am wearing CAKE on my head!“
Known for repeatedly reinventing herself during her 35-year pop career, Madonna has been staying at the luxury palace-turned-hotel El Fenn, owned by the sister of British billionaire Richard Branson, Vanessa. The property has been redecorated and staff have had their smart phones confiscated to protect the privacy of Madonna and her guests. The birthday guest list has also been kept secret, and Moroccan police were keeping journalists and photographers at bay.
Guests reportedly dressed in traditional Bedouin garb for the Arabian-themed party featuring Berber music. According to the Mirror, Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee designed kaftans and Berber costumes for them.
Agence France-Presse reported a local photographer as saying that he had spotted Madonna wearing a veil covering the hair and face but for the eyes. She reportedly visited the five-star Kasbah Agafay spa, went shopping at a souk and enjoyed a camel trek in the desert.
Local media reported that she and around 15 friends had dined out at a restaurant in western Morocco, escorted by bodyguards and under police surveillance.
Taking to social media under the hashtag #MadonnaAt60, fans from across the world sent birthday wishes to the pop diva. Since her first, eponymous album came out in 1983, Madonna has sold more than 300 million records, with albums such as “True Blue,” “Like a Prayer” and “Ray of Light” topping music charts around the world.


The Six : Oscar nominated films from the Middle East

Oscar nominated films from the Middle East. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 January 2019
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The Six : Oscar nominated films from the Middle East

DUBAI: Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum” has been nominated for an Oscar, but it isn’t the only film from the region to be recognized by the academy over the years.

‘Battle of Algiers’
This Italian-Algerian film was nominated in two separate years — in 1967, for Best Foreign Language Film and in 1969 for its screenplay and director.

‘Paradise Now’
The 2005 Palestinian drama was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film award in 2006 and revolved around two childhood friends seeking to carry out suicide attacks in Tel Aviv.

‘Days of Glory’
Director Rachid Bouchareb led this old-fashioned World War II platoon movie that was nominated for an Oscar in 2007.

‘Outside the Law’
This 2010 Algerian war drama is a follow up to ‘Days of Glory’ and is set during the fight for Algerian independence. It was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2011.

‘Ave Maria’
This 2015 Palestinian film is a humorous look at an encounter between a Jewish family and Palestinian nuns in the West Bank. It was nominated in the Live-Action Short Films category in 2016.

‘The Insult’
Directed by Ziad Doueiri, the 2018 Best Foreign Language Film nominee revolved around the aftermath of a clash between a Palestinian refugee and a Lebanese Christian.